Toyota is recalling 2700 examples of the new bZ4X SUV, its first electric vehicle, over concerns that its wheels could fall off.
The global order, submitted to Japan’s safety regulator, said sudden braking could cause a hub bolt to become loose, which increases the risk of a wheel detaching. The order adds that this risk is raised further by sharp turns. No incidents regarding this have been reported.
“After low-mileage use, all of the hub bolts on the wheel of the subject vehicles can loosen to the point where the wheel can detach from the vehicle,” said a Toyota spokesman.
“If a wheel detaches from the vehicle while driving, it could result in a loss of vehicle control, increasing the risk of a crash.
“The cause of the issue and the driving patterns under which this issue could occur are still under investigation.”
“No one should drive these vehicles until the remedy is performed,” he added.
The order affects around 500 vehicles bound for the UK, Toyota has told Autocar. UK deliveries of the firm’s first electric car, which costs from £41,950, had not yet begun, although they were earmarked to start this month.
“We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this causes you,” Toyota said on its website. “We would have repaired it as soon as possible, but we are investigating the details.”
Toyota said, of the 2700 vehicles, 2200 were earmarked for Europe, 260 for the US, 10 for Canada and 110 for Japan.
A spokesperson told Reuters that not every car was subjected to the recall, but declined to say how many it has built overall.
Subaru will recall 2600 Solterra SUVs – closely related to the bZ4X – which were affected by the same issue.
None of these cars were due to be delivered immediately to customers, instead bound for dealerships, reports Reuters.